Open house aims to explain Edwards roundabouts | VailDaily.com

Open house aims to explain Edwards roundabouts

Chris Outcalt
coutcalt@vaildaily.com
Edwards, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado – About 30 Edwards residents spent Tuesday evening at the Singletree Pavilion asking questions about an interchange project planned for Edwards.

The $11 million project – which includes four roundabouts, a highway underpass and an eight-foot sidewalks along most of the new roadway – is being funded by federal stimulus money, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project sounds like a good idea to Fritz Schmidt.

“I think it’s needed,” said Schmidt. “They got the money, let’s do it. When all the schools are open there will be heavy traffic there.”

In order to take advantage of the stimulus money, officials need to put the project out to bid by the end of the year.

Schmidt’s only concern was whether the new free-flowing traffic design would make it difficult to pull out of the Edwards Plaza.

Mike Budd said the project seems like a good way to make traffic in the area a little less congested.

“You have to have the best traffic flow you can get and this gets it,” said Budd, who lives in Edwards. “I think it’s a great project.”

Kurt Vogelman said the project would be a positive thing for Edwards, but thinks there needs to be better pedestrian access built into the area.

Some residents are concerned about noise associated with the project and think some kind of sound barrier should be built. In 2006, officials conducted a noise study when they started planning the project. The study determined the noise in the area was coming from Interstate 70 and the roundabouts would have little effect on the sound in the area.

The noise study was recently redone because of residents concerns. Dale Tischmak, who works with the Front Range company that did the noise study, was in Edwards Tuesday to talk about the new study. The findings were essentially the same as the 2006 study, Tischmak said.

But the way Steve Lamontagne reads the Colorado Department of Transportation’s guidelines for sound mitigation, something should be done about the noise, he said. Lamontagne helped organize a group called the Citizens for Noise Abatement.

“All the studies show we’re an impacted area,” Lamontagne said. “How can they not do any noise abatement.”

The group doesn’t want the project to be derailed, Lamontagne said.

“We just want to make sure the procedures are followed and noise abatement is part of the project,” he said. “We’ll continue to talk to them.”

County and transportation department officials could incorporate information from Tuesday’s open house into the final plans for the project.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.